Korea's Kim wins ladies 1,500-meter on home iceHamelin bags 1,500-meter for Canada; USA's Creveling posts solid day
After two full days of racing that saw the skaters compete through the rounds of pre-preliminaries all the way to the heats for each of the distances, Saturday was the day of finals for the 1,500-meter and 500-meter races in both ladies and men at the 2013 World Cup short track event in Seoul, Korea.
The ladies 1,500-meter was won by Alang Kim of Korea, with her teammate Suk Hee Shim right behind her, as the two skaters swapped podium positions from last weekend's racing. The third-place finisher was Valerie Maltais of Canada.
The fans were close to being delighted by an all-Korean podium finish. However, Seung-Hi Park, who crossed the line in third place, received a penalty.
Americans Lana Gehring and Emily Scott both advanced to the 1500-meter semifinals. After an intense finish, Scott just barely missed the A Final by 0.048 seconds and advanced to the B Final , where she placed fourth.
"I'm really excited with how racing went today, and I got really close to making it into the A Final," Scott said. "I'm excited to get back home and work on my mistakes, and I feel like it can really only get better from here."
The men's 1,500-meter final saw some extremely close racing. With two laps to go, Charles Hamelin (Canada) made his final move to edge out Han-Bin Lee (Korea) for the win. Victor An of Russia was the third-place finisher after skating in the top two positions in the second half of the race.
The win allows Hamelin to take the lead in the World Cup distance classification, with An in second place.
In the ladies 500-meter event, defending World Cup distance champion and ladies world champion Meng Wang of China was back to her winning ways. Wang took the lead in the second lap to finish first in the 500-meter final, with her teammate, Kexin Fan, a close second. Arianna Fontana (Italy) was third.
Fan maintains her lead in the World Cup ranking for the distance.
Meanwhile, the Men's 500-meter final was won by An, who made a great pass on Dajing Wu (China) with two laps to go. Wu eventually crossed the line in second place, ahead of Se Yeong Park of Korea.
Team USA's Chris Creveling had a solid day of racing, advancing through the men's 500-meter quarterfinal and semifinal, and then qualifying to race in the Final B, where he placed second in his heat and sixth overall.
"I actually ended up skating a lot better today than I anticipated," Creveling said. "I couldn't have skated any better and I feel pretty positive right now, and I'm looking forward to the next World Cups and to Olympic trials."
Information from U.S. Speedskating was used in this report